COMMENT: Even if Greeks turn out in thousands, the echo of their shouts will fall upon deaf ears. The fact is that a bailout from the EU is the only way in which Greece can fiscally survive. Three years into a recession that has seen wages tumble, unemployment surge and living standards erode.
To satisfy EU and IMF inspectors that it can sort out its debt, the government has imposed wave after wave of public sector wage cuts and tax rises, but has yet to get its finances in order. A lingering question is...can they actually do it?
Current estimates suggest the the Greek economy will shrink by at least 2.5% in the coming year. Unfortunately, the newest package of austerity measures -- tax hikes, layoffs and pay cuts -- failed to make a dent in this year's deficit.
As in the US, no one in Greece can face the prospect that cradle-to-grave union promises are no longer viable in today's world. The power of street protests to bring about political change is an integral part of the Greek way of life, but balance sheets will have to dictate change.
In the end, Greeks will have to face the fact, as Americans are doing in the US, that times have changed and all governments are running out of money and promises and can no longer guarantee the entitlements that citizens have grown to expect.
The sad truth is that Greeks will have to work harder and expect less from the government. The government itself will either meet the EU and IMF deficit reduction levels or face fiscal collapse. The US and the rest of Europe are not far behind.